...as Christians, the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. Therefore, the greatest accomplishment is to love God.

"But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.."  Matthew 22:34-38. 

At the Men's Retreat, the guys of Living Hope Baptist Church gathered in fellowship and encouragement. Lead by speaker Ken Davis, men gained Biblical insight into what unity, love, and faithfulness look like at home and at church, by challenging each man to put others before himself, and through the question, "what is the greatest accomplishment you will complete in your life?". In response to this question, anyone would think first of big, news breaking successes as the greatest possible accomplishment, but as Christians, the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. Therefore, the greatest accomplishment is to love God.

Paul wrote to the church of Corinth about what it means to love. Even people who have never seen a Bible may know these verses: Love is patient, love is kind, love is generous...but what is unspoken, is how to love with patience, love with kindness, and love with generosity. Love cannot be patient, if there is no one to be patient with, nor can it be kind if no one knows your kindness, or generosity felt without someone to receive it. To love needs someone to give it too. The culmination of patience, kindness, etc. leads to placing others before yourself. John 3:16 stated above describes this, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." God's love for us is great, and so loving God is the greatest thing we can do.

Love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. To love God we must place Him before ourselves. When your faith is challenged, do you place God before yourself? When facing evil rulers and authorities, will you stand against them? Jesus took a clear stance for good and against evil. The overall message of Ephesians 4 is to do good and do away with evil. Thus there is no space for being neutral. The life Jesus lived is filled with testimony of Jesus speaking out by rebuking evil, and encouraging others to do good. To love God and put Him and others before ourselves, requires us to take action: exalting and building each other up.

With familiar verses such as Ephesians 6:11: to put on the whole armour of God, we think of a common picture of the gladiator, equipping himself with shiny armour, drawing his mighty sword and charging at the enemy. Unlike champions who historically and mythically achieve glory by being a one-man army, single-handedly taking on the enemy, none of us can win against an army alone. We need help. We need each other to support one another. But to fight with each other means we need to be unified and attack as one. During the Lord's Supper, the breaking of bread comes from a single loaf, the wine: a single cup. Jesus depicted oneness and unity through Himself with this example.

Through Jesus, we are unified and with each other we stand as God's army defending each other, exalting one another, and loving our neighbour. Let's live that example and  love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, all of our souls, and all of our minds.